Samantha - Natural Beauty - Ritz Carlton

I loved Hannah the minute I met her, she had a great sense of humor and exuded confidence in her very natural polished style.

Her wedding was a black tie formal affair, and her biggest concern was that her makeup and hair remained “natural yet enough to carry it off.” Both she, and her fiancé wanted her hair down, and minimal makeup. This is a really big issue with many brides that either don't wear makeup or wear very little, that they will be overly made up. Any style, including minimal makeup, has an interpretation that works for photography as well as in real life.

The bridal suite at the Ritz was filled with the bridal party, family, and friends. The atmosphere was laid back, laughing, sipping champagne, and eating while we were getting the party ready - totally focused on having a great time.

What I did:

Her skin was naturally pretty flawless, but foundation is necessary for photos regardless of skin – every person is going to photo consistently with it. I chose Armani Luminous Silk Foundation which is a high pigment, low viscosity texture, allowing a very light application, with coverage. Skin was buffed and finished with light strobing. Focus on eyes and brows – she had stunning brows which frame the face, I used very little shadow just a light sweeping of a Stila shimmer shadow. Eyeliner and lashes kicked the look up a couple notches without having to use more shadow A thin, black line of eyeliner right at the lash line, topped with a soft smoked buffing of plum shadow and a full set of individual lashes made her big eyes look even larger, complimenting her dark brown eye color.

For Hair:

Hair was blown dry with volumizer, then rolled with velcros for very soft texture and waves.


Leah/Modern Classic Elegant – Venue Cherokee Country Club

Leah’s bright blue eyes, and laid back demeanor belied a bride whose wedding party was 22 people / 44 service total.

She approached me with “do whatever you think best” for her style. I asked to see her dress first, as that tells me 99% of what I need to know to design the hair and makeup complimentary to the bride's vision. Her dress was a pure white, fitted and flare sheath, with netting at the shoulder, going down the back to the waist – a modern, but classic style. She came to her trial with her two gorgeous sisters and mom, many laughs, and a great story as to why the wedding party was a bit larger than expected (the groom!). Leah had really deep blue wide set eyes – focus was on eye with the rest just supporting the baby blues. She wanted her hair styles to follow suit in her classic and elegant style.

What I did:

I suggested airbrushing for Leah with a semi matte finish – a full but natural coverage to compliment her elegant dress, and layered veil. With the size of her party, the day would begin early, and end late - airbrushing has its pro's and con's. It is best on a certain skin type, and I prefer to use it in cooler weather. Airbrushing is resistant to wear; however, I do not find it wears well in the warmest months – Leah was married in the Spring with cooler temperatures. Hand applications are comparable in wearability with use of primers and sealer – but a different finish. I chose a contoured, semi smoky eye for Leah, using the Lorac 1 Professional eye palette, a full set of individual lashes, and smoky gel liner. Cheeks were rosy and light illuminated, and lip color deepened with a rosy pink.

For the hair:

Hairstyle chosen was a formal, classic updo – a large chignon at the nape of the neck. To achieve the chignon size, hair extensions were added in, and a foam doughnut used for structure. The front of the style was smooth, without texture, sweeping over the forehead.


Meredith - Soft Glamour – LonesomeValley, NC

I first met Meredith via the phone. As a medical student in San Francisco, CA, our initial “trial run” was over the phone.

When we met a couple months later, the first impression I had was that every part of the wedding was designed with her family in mind. She was a very deliberate Bride, no detail over looked, everything meaningful. Being a Medical Resident, she lives in scrubs – but her style for the wedding was soft-spoken glamour. Her dress designed by Mira Zillwinger was one of the most breathtaking gowns I had ever seen. A soft net tulle ballgown dress with taupe underlays, wispy feathers, and a little bling. Meredith had a stunning smile, one of those smiles that completely lights a room. With that in mind I encouraged a more provocative, deep lip color in a matte finish to compliment the very formal gown she was wearing, and her gorgeous smile. Her thick blonde hair she wanted up, but did not want something that too either deconstructed, or too formal. So I chose something in between implementing both deconstruction with formal tones. The wedding party began the day by having a yoga session at the lodge, - it was a day working with a very relaxed wedding party.

What I did:

For foundation I used Ben Nye HD Matte finish crème, a beautiful flawless and weightless coverage on the skin buffed, and illuminated with Face Atelier Ultra Sheer Pro. The eyes were a very soft shimmer bronze and plum using Anastasia Norvina Shadow palette. On lips Charlotte Tilbury Matte lipstick “The Queen”.

We chose a low chignon with curl, and swept back completely off the face. I began by saturating her dry hair with a volumizing mousse, then drying it with a medium, round brush. Her hair was curled, and waved using a flat iron. The chignon was structured with random curl size. The front pulled straight back, combed through and pieced to add texture giving a more modern feel than smooth hair.